Introduction - Bath Spa University

The establishment of the Bath School of Art & Design in 1852 resulted from Government debate on the national shortage of training opportunities in design to support manufacture, and concerns about the strength of international design & manufacture at the time of the 1851 Great Exhibition. It became one of seventeen regional public institutions addressing the national need for highly skills artists & designers. In 1946 the School moved to Corsham and was renamed the Bath Academy of Art at Corsham Court.

The presence of tutors and visiting artists such as Terry Frost, Howard Hodgkin, Claus Oldenburg, Michael Craig-Martin, John Ernest, Richard Hamilton and Jim Dine, along with the establishment of a Research Centre for Arts Education funded by the Gulbenkian Foundation resulted in the Academy receiving national and international recognition. The changes which promoted new social frameworks in the 1970/80s were reflected in new art forms, and new structures within institutions of higher art education. The closure of the Academy at Corsham and its return to the City of Bath was one part of such change.

In Bath the change of location has suited students, with applications for places to a wider range of courses dramatically increasing. The employment of high quality practising artists and designers proved outstandingly successful and has been acknowledged in national reviews of teaching and research. Being a part of the University with taught course degree awarding powers has allowed specialist and modular course development, alongside significant research and scholarship across a broad range of studio and critical work.

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